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Gary Allan ~ The One
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Gary's Bio

Gary with his Dad and Mom
This picture was in Country Weekly Magazine

                                         Gary Allan   
At thirteen, he played the honky tonks. At fifteen, he turned down a record deal. At eighteen, he joined the army. At twenty, he owned a successful construction company. He's devoted to his family of three little girls. He sold cars and trucks by day and ignited Southern California audiences with his fiery brand of West Coast honky tonk late into the nights, six evenings a week. No small wonder that Gary Allan's voice carries the imprint of life's experiences far beyond his young years. When he sings, he travels the rich emotional landscape of the enduring themes of country music - love, heartache, joy, redemption - with an astonishing depth for a young artist. Also no small wonder that when he came to Nashville for the first time in his life, within weeks, six major labels wanted to sign him. Used Heart For Sale, the debut album for Decca (produced by Mark Wright and Byron Hill) delivers Allan's authentic, roots-based country music that was born in the honky tonks of Southern California, nurtured on a life-long love of country greats George Strait and Merle Haggard, and filtered through the dusty streets of Buck Owens' Bakersfield. The album demonstrates Allan's strength as a first-rate singer. Like the legends of country music he reveres, there's heart, soul and gravel in this young voice, and a raw, sultry delivery that's the mark of authenticity. On the first single, "Her Man" and other ballads, "All I Had Going is Gone" and "From Where I'm Sitting," the singer isn't afraid to take chances, letting his voice catch on a word, or dropping into a low register at just the right moment in the song, as if he's just received a blow to the heart. When Gary Allan sings, you can't help but listen. At only 28, he is a 14-year seasoned veteran. Born in Montebello, California, Allan moved to La Mirada with his parents and older brother and sister when he was five. The kids, anxious to acquire musical instruments, acted on the advice of their mother and bought their father a guitar. With dad into music, suddenly, they had a P.A. in the living room and every instrument they wanted to play. When Gary was 13, he saw an ad for a singer at a honky tonk in his neighborhood. He picked up his guitar, walked the two blocks to the bar and made the owner listen to him sing, even while the man tried to shoo him off, shaking his head that Gary was just too young. The very next weekend, Gary sang at the club while his father and older brother played with the band. "I was so young that I actually had to leave the club during breaks." With Used Heart For Sale, the California singer brings "country" back to Nashville, joining the ranks of other successful new artists like The Mavericks in drawing on the origins of country music while presenting a sound that is fresh, real, and utterly contemporary. The first cut, "Send Back My Heart" is a shuffle that rocks down the house. "Forever and a Day," a twisting, two-stepping stomp with an infectious guitar lick that sasses back the melody, and "Living in a House of Love," an uptempo country song with a driving backbeat, are guaranteed to shake folks right out of the lines they're dancing in. "Of All the Hearts," sends steel and fiddle wailing, and Allan wails along with them, forming a symphony of sound that tugs at the heartstrings. "Used Heart for Sale," co-written with creative partner and guitar player, Jake Kelly, has an infectious western swing that reflects the pair's combined influences. "I love the real singers - Mark Chesnutt, George Jones, Merle Haggard, George Strait," says Allan. "And Jake likes Buck Owens and Buddy Holly." "The two of us have creative synchronicity," Kelly adds. Both Allan and Kelly are writers with MCA Publishing. "Wine Me Up," an old Faron Young song, brings back the fun, with that traditional but strange ritual in which honky tonkers salute Dionysus, the Greek god of the vine. On "Wake Up Screaming," written by Jim Lauderdale and John Levanthal, a song with a seductive, edgy guitar line, Allan's voice quakes and moans while he sings of nightmares. But for Gary Allan, his dreams seem to come true. By the time he was 15 he was offered a recording contract, though his parents did not want him to accept it. Reluctantly, he took their advice. "In retrospect, I believe my parents saved my life. I know that if I'd been signed then, I'd have tried to sing like others. I'd have tried to sound like all those singers I love. But I've developed my style over the years by singing in clubs. Now, I just sing." Discouraged over the aborted record deal, Allan quit playing music publicly. After high school, he married, served in the army and started a family. Though his new construction company was-successful, he never lost the feeling that he could make it as a musician. Allan credits his wife with encouraging him to take the risk again and pursue his dream. Though the two eventually divorced, they remain good friends and Allan is very active in the lives of his three daughters. At an audition, Allan met Jake Kelly, a highly schooled musician with a penchant for country music and Buddy Holly. Jake took him aside and said, "I don't want to be in a band with these guys. But you're a great singer. I want to start a band with you." Within months, Gary and his new band, the Honky Tonk Wranglers, were playing the Southern California clubs, and packing the houses, transforming empty bars to hot spots. Audiences went wild for their cowboy toga parties in which the band, too, donned the sheets. "We were like family with our audience. To this day, wherever we're playing, they'll all come out to support us." Allan attributes his unique sound of authentic western swinging honky tonk to his years developing his talent in the clubs, and his deep love of playing to an audience. "We don't sound like anybody. And that only happens when you play in the clubs and develop your own thing. There's just a magic that develops when you play with the same people every night." For Allan, the integrity is in the love for the music. "We don't play so that we can sell records. We want to sell records so that we can continue to play." When the singer worked construction, he rose at six every morning, worked twelve hours, played in the clubs until three, and then got up at six to go to work again. "Hey, I did it for free. Now that I'm doing it for a living, it's a dream come true. Sometimes, I look at Jake and say, 'Can you believe it?' It's like we snuck through a door, and we hope we won't ever be thrown out."



Trust in me and you'll find a heart so true,
All I want to do is give the best of me to you,
And stand beside you.
Sung by, Gary Allan- The One

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